Easy weeding

Weedy bed
A weedy bed can be a daunting prospect.

Finally, the rain has stopped for long enough for the soil to dry out enough to begin the laborious task of digging and weeding.  This is when I regret having such a large garden, but this feeling soon passes as the garden is transformed from weedy overgrown mess to something respectable.  And when I am sitting in my garden with a basket full of goodies to make our dinner table fresh and exciting I give my early spring self a bit of a nod for all the hard work and care and attention that makes the abundant harvest possible.

grass weed and Gardena Weeding Trowel
Some weeds in isolation aren’t too much of a problem and are easy enough to flick out of the soil…..

Because it is down to the hard work done in these early days in the garden that determine the ultimate success.  An inevitable part of getting the garden ready for the spring is to clear away the weeds and I have to say they are very sneaky.  Even the most well cared for garden isn’t immune.  All it takes is a few weeks of inclement spring weather and boom – they adore it in there and flourish.  Tiny little specimens barely noticed soon become your worst nightmare.

weedy grass
…But collectively they can be a nightmare and it can take ages to work your way across a weed infested bed.

And so I have been watching with horror as day after day and week after week my poor sodden garden became greener and greener and not through my enthusiastic gardening efforts, but my lack of them.  Beds that were once declared ‘spring ready’ a few months ago were now riddled with weeds and I longed for conditions to be ideal so I could tackle them.

Pay attention to the weeds around the garden, they can creep in or the seeds can blow in and then you can have a new problem in your freshly weeded garden bed.

Well this day has come and I have been able to reacquaint myself with some of my old nemesis that like to attempt domination in my garden.  Dock and buttercup are two of my most common foe and due to the damp conditions in my swamp soil, they really can’t be avoided.  Weeds like certain soil conditions and once you understand this, you can almost predict who will pop up each year.  I have managed to reduce the numbers over the years but until the conditions change they will always be there.   The best way to tackle these is remove them while they are little – as it is much easier.  This applies to all weeds to be honest.  But sometimes it isn’t possible at all and I don’t recommend weeding in the rain. Besides you lose half of your garden soil, clinging to the roots of stubborn weeds if you try to weed in soil that isn’t dry enough.  The other key with these is to make sure you remove every last little trace.  A tiny piece of dock root left deep in the soil will regrow and be stronger than ever!

Once you know what you are dealing with then you can tackle it properly… with dock it is important to get every last little piece of root!

Other weeds that can be a pain in the garden aren’t difficult to remove, but they spread so quickly that it takes just as much effort as difficult plants as you seem to take twice as long to clear the earth.   Weather permitting it is best to remove these before they set seed.  Like grass.  I have so many grass clumps making themselves at home in my former salad and soon to be brassica bed that it could almost mow it and call it a lawn.  Except I don’t want it to be one.  And it wasn’t that long ago that this was one of my ‘in control’ beds!

Volunteer weeds
Some weeds aren’t weeds in the conventional sense and can be considered desirable when intentionally planted… but if you didn’t plant it –  it can be tempting to leave it there – but that can cause problems in the long run for the plants you actually want to grow in that space.

So once you know what you are dealing with, then the key is the right tool for the job.  There is no point struggling away trying to rip something out with your bare hands when you can pry it out with a garden fork or in a tight space twist it out with weeding trowel designed for the purpose.  When you have a huge weedy mess to tackle you need to work smarter, not harder so you don’t end up completely exhausted with achy muscles at the end of the day.

Weed Seeds
Whatever you do, don’t let weeds go to seed

Another tip is to work with the weeds behind you so when you look up to wipe the sweat off your brow, all you see is what you have achieved and not what you still have to do.  It is much better for your motivation and self-encouragement that way – at the end can often come as a surprize!

Weeded bed
There is a great satisfaction in clearing a weedy bed and with the right tools it can even be enjoyable!

So having spent a few days out there toiling in the soil, I’m about to jump back into it so my garden is for once and for all ‘spring ready!’

Come again soon – Once the weeds are gone we can get on with the fun stuff – planting stuff!

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

8 thoughts on “Easy weeding

  1. My garden did pretty well. During the summer it rained more than usual and then I got behind weeding. Then after the garden was looking good again, it rained more. Next thing I knew it was an overgrown mess. It has been either too hot, too wet, or a combination of both. I vow to do better next year. You always have a beautiful garden and great posts!

    1. Thanks so much. There are always so many things to conspire against the gardener wanting to garden and the weeds are such opportunists. I hope next season you don’t get overwhelmed by the weather and have a great gardening season. : o)

  2. Loved this post too! This is what even i was doing yesterday.The rains have receded here as well. Not stopped completely though. every single time i read your blog.. there is something that resonates quite well.. this time it was
    Some weeds aren’t weeds in the conventional sense and can be considered desirable when intentionally planted… but if you didn’t plant it – it can be tempting to leave it there – but that can cause problems in the long run for the plants you actually want to grow in that space.
    I have give in to temptations and then regretted!

    1. Even now I am tempted… I found some young fennel seedlings in my red current bed and left them there – hoping to move them to the fennel patch… it hasn’t happened yet because of the rain. But they can’t stay there… : o)

  3. I was weeding two months back.. and i removed more than 50 tomato seedlings.. It was really difficult, but every pot had it (I do container gardening) the rose, the jasmine.. every single pot had it..!! may be some farm near by, they were planting tomatoes and the wind or the birds or both contributed to it.. But this was the first time that all the pots had same kind of weeds.. And it was really very tempting to leave them as they were. But I am happy I removed it!

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